Oscar trial: Whatsapp messages can't assist court

By Drum Digital
11 September 2014

The WhatsApp messages sent between Oscar Pistorius and his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp cannot assist the High Court in Pretoria in his murder trial, Judge Thokozile Masipa said on Thursday.

She said the WhatsApp messages were read out by the State to demonstrate that the relationship between Steenkamp and Pistorius was on the rocks.

The defence read out more messages to depict a loving relationship, she said.

"In my view none of this evidence from the state or the defence prove anything," she said.

"Neither the evidence of a loving relationship or a relationship turned sour, can assist this court... None of this evidence proves anything."

She said that evidence could not help the court determine if Pistorius wanted to kill Steenkamp.

Steenkamp was shot dead in Pistorius's Pretoria home on February 14 last year.

During the trial Pistorius has said he thought an intruder was behind the door of the toilet in his Pretoria home when he shot through it. He fired four times, killing Steenkamp.

The State says it was premeditated murder.

When the trial started on March 3, Pistorius pleaded not guilty to the murder charge, and to three firearm-related charges.

While Masipa was handing down judgment, a sketch artist sat in the corner looking at Pistorius.

Masipa was dealing with whether Pistorius's version could reasonably and possibly be true.

She said it was important to recap the State's version and whether it supported the premeditated theory with the fact that Steenkamp had her cellphone with her in the locked toilet.

Masipa said there could be a number of reasons as to why Steenkamp had a cellphone, including for light because the light in the bathroom was not working.

Moving onto the food contents in Steenkamp's stomach, Masipa said Pistorius said they had dinner at 7pm.

"Even if the court had to accept that Steenkamp had something to eat, it would not assist the State," she said.

Steenkamp could have left the room to get something to eat when Pistorius was asleep, Masipa added.

The court could not rely on gastric emptying because it was not "an exact science" and evidence was inconclusive, she said.

The State said Steenkamp ate two hours before she died, to support their theory that the athlete and model were fighting before she was shot. She said it was not clear if the alarm was ever activated that morning.

Source : Sapa

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